In Defense Of Moving

In Defense Of Moving

Packing up your life can be a pain. Here's why it's actually awesome.

Nicolas Huk

To put it simply, moving isn't easy. It's also my reality. Currently, a majority of what needs to be packed is covering ever available surface of my family's kitchen and living room. The rest of the house, however, is nearly empty; a curious combination of chaos and calm. Walking through the space is reminiscent of a scene straight out of "The Hoarders." Even with the knowledge that each truckload to our storage unit (a temporary solution until my parents find someplace to rent) reduces the towers of boxes, the room never seems to look any different. I'm convinced that our possessions multiply during the night.

As overwhelming as it is to see the entirety of a family of four's lives in a single room, I personally find the observation that all of those possessions can fit in one space even more intriguing. Spread throughout the house, they established a building as our home. Our plates decorated with roosters were in the kitchen cupboards. Our coats hung in the mudroom. Pictures of our family sat on the shelves next to the fireplace. Without those familiar items on display, a place I've called my home for (more or less) the past six years is starting to feel strangely foreign.

Yet, somewhere between the stress and the confusion as to why someone packed silverware with the vintage sports memorabilia, something miraculous happens. In order to pack up your belongings, they must be sorted through and (perhaps) organized. That is where moving can transform into one of the best experiences out there.

Looking through my own possessions never fails to interest me. The objects we surround ourselves with often say a lot about a person; sometimes, things we never realized before. For example, for the past several years, I had it in my head that I tend towards a minimalist lifestyle. However, after packing four large boxes of books and lunging at a pile of subpar photos of New York City my grandparents took in 1947 as my mom went to throw them away, I can no longer say the same (in my defense, I'm going to use them to decorate my dorm room).

What you throw away, on the other hand, can show how you've changed. In practice, it's a process that's difficult to see, but it's pretty obvious when the ghosts of your former self are staring back up at you from your closet floor. (Apparently, I used to be really into foreign currency and stickers?) How easy it is to let those versions of yourself go is another story.

Yet, I find the best moments of moving are the ones that are shared, revisiting the memories that only resurface with prompts from the physical world. For example, seeing photos of your dad in all his '70s glory, or marveling at the tiny Cinderella costume you wore when you were 2. The purging of horrendous childhood-made pottery becomes a sarcastically solemn ceremony, while the discovery of a toy "Star Wars" blaster and a few light sabers turn the box-filled living room into a giggle-infested battlefield.

Since I can never refuse the chance to use a gaudy metaphor, these moments are the stars that make looking at the night sky so wonderful. Often, revisiting the past is more enjoyable than you may think. In short, don't be afraid or discouraged to move. Take the opportunity to explore your life a little before you bring it somewhere new. I promise it's worth it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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